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Headphone Guide

OCustomCable DIFFERENTTYPESOF HEADPHONES Different designs Travel Perfect for those of you who are often commuting, these travel headphones are often compact, foldable and usually offer bluetooth connectivity and a degree of active noise cancellation. Sports Designed with activity in mind, sports earphones and headphones are usually designed with an extra amount of fixings so that they stay firm in your ear and do not fall off or out. Some of the Sennheiser range offers a degree of sweat resistance too. HiFi These headphones are often much larger and offer bigger drive units and ex- ceptional performance. Normally you would need to use a dedicated head- phone amplifier to run these headphones to get the best out of them so they are rarely portable and cannot be easily used with smartphones or tablets. There are some exceptions with some HiFi, ultra high quality in-ears being able to work exceptionally well with smartphones and idevices. In-Ear In-ears often offer the best value and convenience, however they can some- times be a nuasance to fit. They suffer a lot in performance when the seal is not tight and the performance can drop dramatically. However if they seal properly within the ear then performance can be exceptional. They are easy to travel around with as they are small and often come with mics and in-line remotes to answer calls and control your smartphone. Custom In Ear Monitor (CIEM) Unlike the standard in-ear with varius eartips to hopefully fit your ears custom in-ear monitors overcome this by being moulded to the shape of your ear for comfort. This ultimately means that you can get amazing hifi sound from an in-ear. Prices are normally high for these but with 3D printing technology getting more advanced prices are hoping to start decreasing. iOS and Smartphone Some headphones have been tweaked to sound their best when used on specific smartphones such as Sennheiser Urbanites. They will often come supplied with an in-line microphone for taking calls and remote for accessing music tracks and controlling volume. It is possible to get both earphones and headphones enhanced for smartphones. Noise Cancelling Technology with noise cancellation has dramtically improved over the last few years and if you commute a lot these are the perfect companion. Many noise cancelling headphones use a built in microphone to stop outside noises like aircraft engines and train noise from entering the headphones whilst you listen so that you can enjoy your music without distractions. Different headphones offer varying levels of noise cancelling and usually the level will relate to the price. Over-Ear Headphones that are over ear are also called circumaural, where the ear cushions fit around the ears. These are full sized headphones and often offer the greatest comfort. Due to their size they can contain larger drive units and manufacturers are able to push the boundaries with performance. On-Ear These are smaller than over-ear headphones and are sometimes called supra-aural. The ear pads sit on your ears and due to the smaller size of the drive unit you will normally find the range of headphones being more com- pact and foldable. Ideal for travelling and listening out and about. These types of headphones can still offer very good performance. Wireless Bluetooth and WiFi technology has made the wireless headphone market explode as you can listen to your smartphone music, your TV or your HiFi without any cables attached. The higher priced headphones also offer noise cancelling and microphones for taking calls. As yet they do not quite perform as well as their cabled HiFi counterparts but the technology is always improving. Different technologies Dynamic Often the most common type of headphones, the dynamic driver offers great sonic performance across all areas. It works very similar to a standard speaker with a magnet, voice coil and diaphragm. These can range in price from just a few pounds to a few thousand pounds. Electrostatic These headphones offer amazing clarity and a really smooth sound. Electro- static headphones are quite hard to make and the well known electrostic brand STAX can be purchased from a few hundred pounds. If you like classi- cal musical and real instruments rathar than electronic music then electrostat- ics can be the best option. Electrostatic headphones create sound by having an electronically charged, very thin diaphragm between two metal plates of alternating charge. This moves the diaphragm, creating the sound. Planardynamic A hybrid of dynamic and electrostatic the planar headphones have a printed circuit inside a thin diaphragm that sits between two charged plates. When the printed circuit is energised it reacts with the charged plates causing the dia- phragm to move. Planar magnetic headphones offer incredibly fast response times and are usually very accurate, however they tend to have a slightly warmer sound, much like an electrostatic headphone. These range from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand pounds from manufacturers such as Oppo and Audeze. Balanced Armature These are predominantly seen as an alternative to dynamic earphones and are used in in-ear headphones due to their form factor and ability to be driven with little power. Often manufacturers use multipe balanced armature drivers in each earphone with a small crossover so that part of the frequency range is covered with just the one driver. Sometimes dynamic drivers are also included in the earphone to improve response. The design consists of a small magnetic balanced arm suspended between eletcro magnets. When current is supplied to the electro magnets the suspended arm moves and hits the diaphragm creating sound. www.custom-cable.co.uk

Headphone Guide

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Custom Cable offer one of the widest ranges of headphones, headphone amplifiers and portable audio products in Europe and have a drop-in centre in London, UK where you can listen to many of the headph...

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